By Dr. Tom Patterson
Yale, which protects its fragile students from dead white authors and offensive Halloween costumes, nevertheless featured a psychiatrist lecturing at Grand Rounds of her fantasies “unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, wiping my bloody hands, like I did the world a f___ing big favor.”
Grand Rounds is an educational presentation by which teaching hospitals augment routine clinical training with presentations of unusual cases or medical advances. It’s not a political forum nor a venue to permit social causes.
Yet Dr. Aruna Khilanani, a New York psychiatrist, gave a widely-advertised speech on “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind.“ “There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil“ she informed the assembled doctors-in-training.
She backed up her opinions by “taking some actions. I systematically white-ghosted most of my white friends “including some “white BIPOCs.” Talking to white people is a “waste of time. We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks they are saints or superheroes to accept responsibility. It ain’t going to happen. They have five holes in their brain.”
We’re well aware that there are bigots with pathological tendencies from both political extremes out there. Until now they haven’t been featured in legitimate academic settings. Not only that, her lecture was well received in some quarters.
A Yale psychologist pronounced her talk “absolutely brilliant”. A woman thanked the doctor for “giving voice to us as people of color.”
Dr. Khilanani was given space in the Washington Post to explain that any negative reactions were mistaken. She simply was concerned about “minority mental health“. She hoped to stimulate “more serious conversations about race,“ rather remarkable considering she had just claimed reasoning with whites was impossible due to their inherent evil.
After some faculty members expressed concern, the medical school leadership allowed that “the tone and continent were antithetical to the values of the school.” Their response was to limit access to the lecture video to members of the Yale community.
But their concerns were primarily with the vulgarity and lack of respect in the speech. They never apologized for or condemned the speech, instead stating that the School of Medicine doesn’t condone violence or racism. Which is nice.
To Dr. Khilanani “this was “suppression of my talk on race.” But she made an obvious point. Yale should not claim surprise because “they knew the topic, they knew the title, they knew the speaker,” Exactly. They bought it, they own it.
The doctor is hardly a lone wolf. A paper accepted by the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association instructed that “whiteness is a malignant, parasitic-like condition that renders its hosts’ appetite voracious, insatiable and perverse” and to which white people have a particular susceptibility.
Corporations spend millions demanding their employees accept that they’re secret, unacknowledged bigots. School children are called-out and demeaned simply for belonging to the wrong race.
Yet in spite of all the provocation to hate raining down from the cultural heights, America is not a racist nation. Look around you. Of course there’s racism (see above). But normal Americans today bear no ill will personally to people of other races and accept them implicitly. Racism doesn’t drive policymaking. Judging people on the basis of their skin color is considered unacceptable by most of us.
Even though America is the least racist nation on the planet, it’s still a work in progress. But among the woke population, emerging voices are urging an ethos of resegregation. The renowned “anti-racist“ Ibram X. Kendi openly teaches that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.”
Free Americans have traditionally favored the opposite, liberal mindset of Frederick Douglass, Lincoln and MLK , urging true equality and comity among the races. Chief Justice John Roberts expressed this ethos in his opinion that “the way to stop racial discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
It’s time for choosing. Roberts and Kendi can’t both be right. Hopefully Americans will decide to work together for a future of yet greater equality and opportunity.
We can’t afford to lose the progress we have made. Bigotry is not OK, no matter what.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.